Six Types of People the Dress Introduced You To

By Cazey Williams

On Thursday night, I read a Buzzfeed article about a dress, went out for ice cream, and returned an hour later to social media overtaken by color confusion like an African virus. Seriously, who didn’t either post or like a status about this phenomenon? Personally, I posted two statuses.

Anyway, I noticed six different types of people emerge:

#BlackAndBlue. You are wrong. You are either too stressed, color blind, or are a troll. You still have time to convert.

#WhiteAndGold. This is the party of truth. Congratulations, we’ll have the White House next election because we’re in the majority.

I see both colors! Da fuxx, are you ambidextrous? Choose a side! These are life’s people-pleasing compromisers. They may also be hostage negotiators. Either way, I may like you less than the #BlackAndBlue crowd.

What is going on? You either don’t have Facebook (you nonconforming cave-dweller), or you don’t have enough friends. I can’t empathize with either reason. For crying out loud, the Dress made it on CNN.

The world is falling apart, and all you care about is a dress (and/or llamas)?! Well, actually, yes, Mr. or Ms. High and Mighty. There’s a significant portion of the population who is lying. And are you surprised we’re preoccupied by the color of a dress? At least it’s less vapid than the size of Kim Kardashian’s gluteus. We’ve always been a superficial society. And so we will go out the way of Sodom, Gomorrah, and Atlantis – in white and gold, no less.

OMG, who killed _____?! #HTGAWM To the above person chastising our superficiality, this **** should annoy you even more. Some people didn’t even care about the dress; they were concerned about the season finale of a show. So off topic! And I’ll tell you who killed ____ (I’m not sure if this character’s death is a spoiler since I don’t watch “How To Get Away With Murder,” so I’m just censoring it): Shonda Rhimes killed her off in the producers’ room! What a cold-hearted killer.

The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Bandwagoners

Lady Gaga 2015 OscarsBy Carlisle Sargent

Our guest blogger this week is Carlisle Sargent, currently living undercover as a jaded graduate student in South Carolina. She is a cofounder of the esteemed audio startup, Goat Rodeo, as well as a lover of good design and giving bad advice. Play with her here. If you are interested in guest blogging, email us at AsToldOverBrunch@gmail.com.

I remember this moment clearly. At the grungy claptrap my best friends and I rented in college, we hosted many parties. I was often in charge of the playlist because I am exceptionally selective about the music that I dance to. On this particular night, at this particular party, my brother was hanging out in the living room with some of his wide-eyed freshman friends. I walked in and fiddled with the music until I found something I liked. After a few minutes, I heard my brother yell.

“Carlie, woah, this beat. This is GAGA?!”

The song I chose was “Scheiße,” the 7th track from Lady Gaga’s album Born This Way. And yes, at about thirty seconds in, a laser-blasted-super-synthy-strut-your-sh*t-club-going-up-on-a-Tuesday dance beat is dropped, and it is dirty. Although I was happy that my brother, a musical genius in his own right, could appreciate one of the lesser-known Gaga hits, I was bummed. How are people continually surprised that this woman makes incredible music?

Fast-forward a few years—to last Sunday at the Academy Awards. Gaga hit every note in a breathtaking medley from The Sound of Music in a dress that made her look like a f*cking fairy, with minimal makeup and nary a plastic headdress or McQueen heel in sight, and people went berserk. Below are some noteworthy reviews I picked up from Twitter, Reddit, and even in-person conversations:

“Oh my god, I love her so clean and simple. I can’t stand her acting like a freak. She really is a great singer. Wow.”

“If Julie Andrews loved it, I loved it.”

“The girl should stay away from all the costume-y crap”

You know what? Shut up. Stop. Of course Gaga sounded incredible at the Academy Awards: She is an incredible artist. The key word here is artist. I am done with the criticism Gaga receives: comments on her appearance, weight, outfits, makeup, love life, management, mental health, and – most irritating of all – comments on her artistry. Since the beginning of her explosion onto the music scene, Lady Gaga has been a purveyor of musical stories told through a character. Just like KISS, or Marilyn Manson, or Madonna: The person is not the costume. Is the modern musical consumer so dense that they do not understand this? I am not particularly gifted, and I feel that I have been in on Gaga’s joke since 2008.

But I digress. The real issue at hand is the influx of bandwagon Gaga fans that have been born this way since Sunday evening. Suddenly, my Facebook messages are all a flutter: “Ugh, at least she started singing” and “Are you happy that I finally love Gaga now, Carlie?!” and my favorite, “Did you see that performance?” Of course I saw that performance. I have been watching Lady Gaga perform since she was belting out “Just Dance” on daytime TV. I have been watching her closely, because as soon as I heard her voice, I fell in love with her talent.

So I have stuck it out. Alongside hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe, I stayed loyal. And it hasn’t always been as easy as “Bad Romance.” The Little Monsters and I journeyed through tough times. We made it through the heartbreak of Gaga’s hip injury and a canceled tour; we moved further and further from the glory days of The Fame Monster; and perhaps most recently, we powered through ARTPOP’s strange rap dud, “Jewels and Drugs.” The Little Monsters and I are true fans. We are bottom bitches. We shrug off Gaga’s performance at the Academy Awards as unsurprising, because we have heard her wail 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Going On” on tour, and we have seen her cover Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” on BBC’s LiveLounge off the cusp. We have listened to her croon “Bang Bang” alongside legend Tony Bennett, and we have downloaded all of her unreleased tracks. Since 2008, we have watched Lady Gaga give more to the genres of pop, dance, and now jazz, than most artists twice her age have offered throughout lifetime careers. We have witnessed the rise of one of our generation’s greatest talents.

And yet, liking Gaga is still considered something of a fad. Something uncool. To many, it’s almost as if her boundary-pushing gets in the way of her true artistry. The Little Monsters laugh, because we know that boundary pushing is her artistry. So no, Gaga is not any more talented for singing a Julie Andrews medley at the Academy Awards – and if I hear one more person call what she did a “comeback,” I’m going to get into a fight. She is just as genius, just as creative, and just as special as she was when she performed “Applause” with her face in a box at the 2013 MTV VMA’s. Her true fans loved her then, and we love her now. We are in it for the long haul. We stay Speechless.

My advice to the raindrops-on-roses-fair-weather-fans: Either lose your ‘tude or get off the ride. Because Gaga is here to stay, and so are her bottom bitches.

#ThrowbackThursday: The Time We Visited the Scientologists

By Cazey Williams and Sara Woznicki

Sophomore year, Sara and Cazey came into possession of a super cheap bus ticket to Washington, D.C. Unlike everyone else on the bus, we did not plan a single event for the entire day. After all, our motto at this point in our lives was, “We did it for the story.” (We might still live this way, but who’s judging?)

Everyone else had plans to visit the National Fill-in-the-Blank Museum and had packed metro maps and stored taxi cab numbers. We showed up on the National Mall with not even Smartphones. (This was 2011, after all.) We had some sort of game plan – Cazey wanted to see the National Cathedral because it looked like Hogwarts. Sara wanted to spend a day not on campus. And mutually, we didn’t want to spend more than a few dimes. We had alcohol to illegally buy that night.

Sara StatuesThe journey began by heading to Chinatown. No idea why, because that is not the way to the Cathedral. Anyhow, we walked there, which would soon become a common theme of the day. On the way we stopped at a sculpture garden, a portrait gallery, and some building owned by the Smithsonian featuring the October 24, 1969 Time magazine cover: “Should We Pull Out?” This soon became the title of the consequent Facebook album, which we are reminiscing over as we write this. (In reality, Time was asking about the Soviet Union. #ThrowbackThursday, eh, Putin?)

Cazey with his Gandalf staff at the doors of the Church of Scientology

Cazey with his walking stick at the doors of the Church of Scientology

Eventually we realized we needed to cut to the chase, so we hiked toward the Cathedral. We asked a DC resident on the way how to get there, and she told us to hail a cab. We trekked onward – without that cab.

On the way we stopped for lunch. At this point we were in the DuPont Circle area if you’re familiar with our nation’s capital or have watched National Treasure. We ate outside where Cazey spied two things: A walking stick and the Church of Scientology. Well, he picked up that stick and led us straight to the doors. However – and this is when fate tried to intervene – the church was under construction; they had relocated a few blocks away.

So this is when we turn around, right?

Heck, no.

Continue reading

Why I Admire Scar (Even You Can’t Be Caught Unawares)

By Cazey Williams

Recently I was doing a bench press and The Lion King’s “Be Prepared” came on my iPod. BEST WORKOUT SONG EVER. Best song ever, actually. And then I realized we don’t appreciate Scar enough. We forget how shrewd and brazen he was. We neglect to remember the leadership he exemplified. We don’t even all have his anthem in our Spotify library.

“He is the mean gay uncle that everyone wants,” says my friend. I had never even considered Scar’s sexuality previously, but she’s right. He was a LGBTQ icon in the ’90s, a trendsetter if there ever was one. Also, this explains why he can sing so damn well.

The thought came to me on my fifth replay of “Be Prepared” that “Why I Admire Scar” would make a great college essay. It would be both edgy, honest, and there’s plenty of material! Thankfully, I’m not returning to undergrad, but that doesn’t mean I can’t blog my admiration.

Firstly, Scar is straightforward. He doesn’t beat around the savannah bushes; he is going to kill Mufasa. And not only are his intentions clear, he follows through. And he does it with CHEEK! “Long live the king,” he hisses – and then RIP, Mufasa. Not even Cruella has that flair.

He even has time to give us the cliche villain monologue (though maybe we shouldn’t call Scar a villain; he’s just a transparent go-getter – and Mufasa was segregating the hyenas). Scar probably has time for this because, wait, what, he’s prepared? Oh my gosh, I am in love with a person who actually reads the email responses they solicit! And addresses my questions? (“No, fool, we’re gonna kill him. And Simba, too.”) And actually shows up on time with an agenda?!

Where do I vote for this figurehead who values my time and opinions?!

Scar also isn’t petty. Some people get mad when a woman’s not interested (cough, Gaston) or aren’t invited to a christening (hey, Maleficent), but that’s a toddler tantrum compared to usurping the throne. This is about power; he wants to be king. And he’s practical; he doesn’t want world domination, just the Pride Lands. Is that so much?

What grabs my heart almost as much as his preparedness is his literacy (!!!). Let’s talk about his use of similes: “Your powers of retention are as wet as a warthog’s backside.” Does it get any more illustrative? His lyrics altogether make me swoon. What other tyrant can turn their mission statement into poetry? (“I’ll be king undisputed, respected, saluted, and seen for the wonder I am.”)

And for the working man, Scar believes in compensation (“I know it sounds sordid, but you’ll be rewarded”) – as long as you meet expectations (“you’re expected to take certain duties on board”). Fair is fair!

Conclusively, I want to be on Scar’s exec board. It would be a dance party (and not hip-hop, which is my least favorite dance music), and sh*t would get done. And he calls out the incompetent fools! Basically, my idol. I love embracing Disney-era Slytherins.

So now let’s play “Be Prepared” for the tenth time today:

5 Times I Knew Too Much About Technology

By Sara Woznicki

I grew up on a computer. We’d play the lifesaver mini golf games after school, compete at typer shark during school and were given calculators by the time we hit middle school math. All this computer advancement makes anything less than advanced technology difficult to deal with. Here’s five times within the last year alone I was too computer savvy for every day life:

1. You want me to fax this?

fax machineWhen I was working in a very small digital marketing firm, I was asked to fax a document to a court. The task involved downloading an attachment from an email, printing it out and then basically sticking it back into the printer to fax it. What in the world? Why can’t I just forward the email instead of these seven steps that lead to an excessively similar end? It got even more annoying when the phone kept beeping incessantly because the line was busy. All in all, it took me about a half an hour to send a piece of paper semi-electronically via a fax. I can see why we progressed passed this.

2.Why are scanners so hard?

I was trying to send someone a receipt so I could get reimbursed. I decided to wait until the next day so I could scan it in at work, then email it. Why are there so many buttons on a scanner!? I bet half of them don’t do anything of value anyways. After about ten tries, I gave up and decided to just snap a quick picture of it with my camera phone, attach it in an email and then send it on its merry way. Plus one for faster and more efficient methods.

3. Why are you sending me so many pieces of paper?

For as long as I can remember, good old Bank of America has been sending me my monthly statements via email. They sometimes send me some print paper, but I think that’s my annual statement. But when I bought some shares in the stock market, I got a new piece of paper mailed to me every day for what felt like a month. Do they actually expect me to read all this? On top of that, by the time the paper copies even made it to me, I had already went online and did everything I needed to do. I also couldn’t even find a spot to tell them I like electronic things better than paper things. Save some trees, and save me some paper cuts. Just email them to me, and I may actually read them.

4. I have to talk to someone about this?

When my mom and dad gifted me my dad’s car, they also gifted me with the burden of full car ownership. That meant getting some car insurance of my very own. Like I even know where to start with that. I actually think I had so little of a concept of how to handle it, my mom took pity on my soul. She went from site to site comparing prices, only to decide that I should stick with their carrier. She even went through the lengths to set up the phone call for me to start up my own account. Yes, I am weak. But I also couldn’t fathom why this merited a phone call. I got my credit card without having to speak to a soul. That’s my idea of customer service.

5. Is there a reason you keep using the ‘reply all’ button?

Bless her heart (my all time favorite saying I’ve picked up on since moving South), a woman at work would ‘reply all’ to every email she ever got. Even those informational ones, where no response is required or desired. And not only would she ‘reply all,’ she would ‘reply all’ to every email in an email chain as she was reading it, rather than read the whole email chain and then make one collected statement. I could not comprehend how she didn’t know normal email etiquette. It sort of bother other people, but I downright set my mind up about this lady based solely off her inability to grasp emails.

Growing up in the technology boom definitely makes adapting to real life challenging at times.

Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask Your Yoga Teacher

By Cazey Williams

DSC_1899

Meet Anja Bachmann

At least one night a week, I go to a yoga class offered through Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Over the last year, I’ve gotten to know the instructor, Anja Bachmann, and I recently asked her to answer some burning-like-my-hamstring-when-I-try-to-stretch-it yoga questions for me:

How did you get into yoga? I was in high school and took a few yoga classes, but wasn’t into it. My freshman year of college, I went to a small liberal arts college out of state and hated it. Yoga helped keep my mind off of being homesick. Their yoga teacher was graduating, and I was trying to find a way out of the food industry up there and decided I would take the summer intensive yoga teacher training in Richmond while I was home for the summer. The usual program is 9 months, and I did my RYT® 200 in 3 months. I never went back [to the liberal arts college] and started classes at VCU instead! Then, I was hired as a yoga teacher for VCU the following spring.

​What is your favorite pose? This is a hard one! It totally depends on my mood and whatever my body needs. Normally, chaturanga. It’s normally thought of as a transitional pose and often overlooked, but done right it is so liberating. It makes you feel strong, balanced, and light all at the same time once practiced enough.

Why should people do yoga? I do not think yoga is for everyone. Yoga can only help you if you are open minded about it and will accept its challenges and victories. It can help you mentally and physically, but only if you let it.

Scorpion pose

Scorpion pose

What do people do most wrong in yoga?​ I try not to focus on the negative things my students do, but I see a lot of people being attached to the final expression of a pose and not appreciating the journey. I would give anything to have pictures of my poses when I started my teacher training. I couldn’t even touch my toes! Now, I practice poses in every stage of their expression. You won’t see me in full scorpion (vrischikasana) anytime soon, and I am 100% okay with that! Also, ask your teacher questions! I LOVE questions. Use my brain; it’s there for you!

What’s the best stretch for a sore lower back? Tight hamstrings? (Insert any other common condition you hear about) I definitely get the low back pain thing a lot. Lengthening (read: stretching) your hamstrings can help with lower back pain. Most people have tight hamstrings. I tell people to stand up against a wall, feet hip or shoulder-width apart, and to just bend forward and “hang out there” with their knees slightly bent for a few minutes every day to help open up. Having the support of the wall is nice, so you can really focus on letting the upper body hang down. I tell my students if that doesn’t help after a few weeks, go see a physician/orthopedist.

How does yoga compare to other forms of exercise, e.g. lifting, running, Zumba, etc.? Yoga is unique in the sense that anyone can practice, and you can’t really say that for every form of exercise. Friends of mine teach all different levels from chair yoga for seniors who are wheelchair bound to advanced Ashtanga yoga.

What other exercises/workouts can help you in yoga? Anything that promotes great body awareness! Students of mine who are dancers or former dancers are fun because they really get what you’re trying to convey. However, they are the worst at keeping their hips square (not turning out).

Tell us a funny yoga story. I had a student who did not speak much English have a crush on me. That was painfully awkward.

What makes a great yoga teacher? What I admire in a fellow teacher is how personable they are, their language while cuing, making everyone feel comfortable, the effort in making the class accessible to everyone, and creative sequencing. If you can identify with the teacher, you will get so much more out of class.

How do you get in front of a group of strangers and teach everyday? I announce every class that I have a stutter, so everyone is on the same page. I have had to ask students to leave for laughing and being disruptive in the past. That’s when I decided to give everyone a fair warning. Ignorance is really what hinders a yoga practice in the first place. I think it makes me more approachable and more of a person instead of this yoga guru. That, and I really love chocolate and wine.

I try to keep class fresh with engaging the students and making jokes (often slightly inappropriate). My non-Zen like approach has certainly steered a few people away, but has kept more people coming back. If I want a cookie-cutter, non-approachable teacher, I can go anywhere. It’s about finding a teacher you click with.

Are you planning future projects? Yes! I am pushing to get BarWorks® classes to the VCU gym. I think barre is an excellent workout and most barre studios in the area market to a certain socioeconomic group, which is disheartening. I also want to eventually make videos for my students to practice at home to if they can’t make it to class.

How can I find you? Swing by the Cary Street Gym to take a class or go to my Facebook Page!

 

Brunch Review: Duck Donuts

By Sara Woznicki

Apparently Duck Donuts are a big deal in another state, so they built it into a chain. One of these new shops is right here in Willow Lawn of Richmond, Virginia. Naturally, we had to go while I was still eating unhealthy things a few weeks ago.

When you walk into the store, the sweet, sweet scent of donut hits you automatically. It’s like a giant, aromatic hug of donut. And they have free samples. However, the menu is confusing, with you being able to make your own donut, but then there’s also specials. The specials are labeled like, “Monday’s Special: Reeses Cup,” so you’d think you can only get it on Monday, but you can actually get it any day you’d like.

Duck Donuts in Richmond, VirginiaSo, after minutes of standing there dumbly, I decide to go for the Almond Joy donut, a Reeses donut and a regular coffee. The trickery here, though, is they asked me what flavor I wanted, and then up-charged me for a single pump of hazelnut. I go and put my coffee on the table, it wobbles really badly, and sloshes everywhere. Good start to the day.

As I’m running to go clean it up, they’re calling me for the donuts. Then they call me again, like I’m not trying to get there while also saving the coffee dripping everywhere. Once I get the donuts though, they’re worth it. They’re warm with melting chocolate on top. Really cake-like, obviously fresh and sweet enough to make you want to vomit everywhere. But in a happy-vomit sort of way.

About halfway through the second donut though, it became really hard to finish. It’s so much sugar, but you just know it’s not going to be nearly as delicious any other time because it won’t be warm and fresh. So I choke it down, and wash it down with some coffee. My takeaways from Duck Donuts are:

  • It’s definitely an experience you’ll want to try, but…
  • I’m confused as to if that have donuts other than just the plain ones that have icing on them.
  • It’s expensive considering what it is.
  • Holy diabetes.
  • The concept of building your own donut is way cooler than it is in practical application.
  • I have zero faith it would be as mesmerizing if you didn’t eat them immediately.

Duck Donuts: definitely worth indulging every once in awhile.

Stop the Thought Crimes: Use Words, Not Emojis

By Sara Woznicki

**Originally posted on WriteHere**

George Orwell’s novel 1984 is becoming a reality, but it’s not the government deeming self-expression a thought crime. We’re doing it to ourselves. For those of you who haven’t read 1984 (or for those who were supposed to read it in high school and never did), the basic premise of the book is that the government is working to control people’s thoughts through Newspeak, where they eliminate words so that people cannot rebel.

When the government takes away words, it lessens people’s ability to object to their totalitarian ways, and hinders people from being able to give a deeper context to their thoughts. Without words, people lose their ability to think on their own accord because they can’t articulate anything other than what the government wishes. It’s mind control.

And we’re now willingly doing this to ourselves.

The clearest example is by the Global Language Monitor, which declared the Most Popular Word of 2014 the “<3” emoji. Let that sink in: the most popular word isn’t even a real word.

We’ve been headed this way for some time, with the reduction of phone calls and letters, to emails, then to Facebook statues, then to character-restricted text messaging and tweets, and now just to sending pictures back and forth, whether that be through snapchat or emojis.

Rather than responding to a message with how you feel or your reaction to the statement, we simply send a face or pictures to roughly describe what we want to say. We no longer express ourselves through our own words, which give us endless possibilities of phrases and sentences, but rather limit our reactions to one or two pre-set emojis.

When we could be telling someone, “I’m frustrated that you tell me you’d like to hang out, but then bail on me at the last minute,” we simply send them a:disgruntled face emoji

Instead of saying, “That’s a great idea, and we should move forward with planning how we can execute it,” we just shoot over a: thumbs up emoji

Even on the sentiments of love, ranging from loving a person, to thinking someone is attractive, to wanting a piece of the pie that someone just sent a picture of, we use one generic: heart eye emoji

Sure, content clues provide a lot to each of these emojis in their respective examples, but do we really want to reduce ourselves to using the same emoji for loving someone, being excited about seeing someone AND the prospects of pie? I’d rather not, but yet I do. Instead of telling someone where I am, I’ll send them a running man, the swol arm and then a tired face so people know I’m working out.

I’ve even noticed that when I’m sending emails, I sometimes feel limited because I’ve only got my two generic keyboard smileys of :) or :(. How can I possibly feel limited when I’m typing on a keyboard, with 26 letters that I can rearrange to create boundless amounts of words and phrases, which can intricately describe every sentiment I have exactly as I feel them? Despite that linguistic opportunity, I feel tied to the simplicity of expressing myself in emojis because that’s how I regularly communicate with people. My iPhone has given me a standard set of feelings that I can use without having to think. And even when I’m not on a phone, I think, “If I was on my phone, I’d hit the **raises hand** emoji,” and then work from there trying to express why I’d want the raises hand emoji as part of my message. It’s working backwards from emojis, rather than forward to emojis.

We’ve let technology create our new language, and therefore our new way of thought. We’ve given up our free thought and rights of expression to the ease and simplicity of clicking one image to talk to each other.

I challenge you to break out of this self-imposed thought crime: try sending text messages without emojis for a week. See how good it feels to speak in your own words, and not in the words that Apple gave you.

Maryland Pride

By Cazey Williams

This past summer, my friend Justin lived temporarily in my basement. The basement was never meant for living quarters: The ceiling touched the blond tips of his hair and spiders and other Jurassic era critters roamed the unswept floors. However, rent was cheap. Justin made it work: He hung his clothes on the exposed pipes, installed a Febreze plugin, and hung a Maryland flag on his wall.

If you can’t guess, Justin hails from Maryland, and as a geography major, this means something to him. “Maryland’s flag is the only flag in the country to look like this,” he told me. By that, he means – and I confirmed with Wikipedia – the Maryland flag is the only state flag to be based on English heraldry aka Marylanders say “God bless the Queen, I mean President” as they drink tea with their pinky fingers up.

Justin talked tons about Maryland over the summer. He continually dropped that it was the greatest state, Maryland crabs, yadda yadda yadda. Meanwhile, I’ve lived in Virginia my entire life, and I lack fondness for the Old Dominion. In fact, I consider it has a has-been state: Our glory days lay behind us in buried presidents (five of them), 1607 colonizations (Jamestown for those of you who failed your history SOL), and Virginia Diner peanuts. Now all we offer are E-ZPass lanes and disgraced governors.

Maryland necklaceAnyway, I wrote off Justin’s Maryland pride as a singularity until I visited him a few weeks ago. The first night of my visit, we ended up at the local watering hole. We sat with several of his high school classmates aka birthright Marylanders. I noticed his female friend wore a necklace with a pendant of Maryland.

“My sister got it for me for Christmas,” she said.

“I forgot you all are obsessed with your state,” I replied. Oops, alcohol.

“Damn right we are,” one of the guys interjected. “I have the flag tattooed on my shoulder.”

Even Justin couldn’t believe this: “No, you don’t!”

“Yeah, I do.” Cue the guy showing us the flag tattooed on his shoulder.

Me: You’ve got to be kidding me.

The birthright Marylanders: “That’s awesome!”

Another guy even piped up, “I was thinking about getting it tattooed, too!”

“Justin did have the flag hanging on his wall this summer,” I said – as if this compares to having your state emblem burned into your skin forevermore. I wonder if a tat of your state flag gets one out of a speeding ticket.

The tattooed guy replied, “Yeah, it’s on my bedroom wall, too.” Of course it is.

“It’s my phone’s background,” bested the other guy. And he wasn’t kidding.

And yesterday I reminded Justin this blog was coming out. He replied with a Snapchat of him in a Maryland shirt. Seriously?

“I told you,” Justin said, “Marylanders love Maryland. There’s something about this state.”

Sneak Peek: Tinder Swiping

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By Cazey Williams

Recently Sara and I were interviewed about online dating. On camera, I was asked to narrate how I browse Tinder. So tonight, I bring you exclusive insight into what I think as I come across all that Tinder has to offer.

Dennia, 22. Blah intro photo. Her bio is mildly interesting except for the “IG: @Dennia.” Like, I am on Tinder, not eHarmony; I am not switching apps to look at the granola cereal you had this morning. Left.

Stacey, 23. “I called my professor a misogynist piece of shit while drunk at my school’s talent show and that’s pretty much all you need to know about me.” Missing a comma there, Stacey. But you’re edgy. Right.

(It’s a match!)

Kelsey, 23. List of descriptors in her bio, including “Actor,” “British comedy,” and “Hummus.” She might want to add “Pretentious.” Her photos include her actress headshot. Definitely attractive. Right.

(It’s a match! I swear this never happens to me!)

Danielle, 21. Danielle is… Danielle is not attractive. Left.

Nan, 22. First photo is with a guy. Second photo has too much filter. Third photo is too much skin, like, too zoomed in on her face. In the fifth photo I discover she graduated college. Left.

Jennifer, 23. Loves her Instagram filters. No consistent choice, though: I spy Amaro, Nashville (who uses that?!), and Earlybird. Left.

Atira, 22. Up close and personal shot of her lips. “Just Get to Know Me And Then You Will Be Able To Understand Me As A Person Striving for Greatest.” Left.

Laurita, 23. I’m already digging the name. However, her bio reads, “Forever stuck as Laurita on Tinder.” Honey, it ain’t a bad thing. She’s cute. Could be short. Blonde. Right.

(Not a match. Sigh.)

Kelsey, 22. Her first two photos are cars. Then there’s one of her on a car. And then there’s one of her in the delivery room. NOPE. Left.

Stephanie, 21. First photo is three women. This game, really? Next shot is just her, but she’s bland, and it’s 10:30 PM, so I don’t have the energy to identify her in the previous photo. Left.

Katie, 21. Left.

Erin, 23. Toto the lapdog is in her first photo. She looks basic. Her bio is a quote by Corey Smith who is a country singer I soon discover on Wikipedia. Left.

Mariah, 22. Twelve pixelated sorority girls squatting. It’s not even the first day of Christmas. Bai, Mariah. Left.

Lauren, 22. Her face is hidden behind a cat. The cat has nice eyes. Left.

Karina, 24. Mild cleavage in first photo. I consider docking points. Same photo of cleavage again. Sunglass selfie. Pixelated “I’m drunk at brunch with my frannnd” photo. Left.

Lexie, 21. She is skilled at taking the same exact pose in multiple locations and different outfits. Left.

Brittany, 27. I meant to look at her second photo, but I accidentally swiped Left. Oh well.

Sierra, 24. One of my favorite Instagram filters. “Sucker for a guy with puppy pics.” Um. She also studies human genetics. She is going to be so easy to find on LinkedIn. Right.

Kaylene, 21. “I’m awkward but kind of in a cute way.” You’re missing a comma. And you’re trying too hard in that black dress in your mirror selfie. Left.

Cinthya, 24. I can’t see her head in her very first photo. No head in the second photo either. All head in the last three. Left.

Kate, 23. Her bio reads, “Something witty and mysterious.” Until I saw her face. Left.

Gaby, 21. A screenshot of a guinea pig with the header “I just pooped.” Left.

LM, 29. “If you’re on here looking for SEX, KEEP IT MOVING.” I’ll keep moving, but that’s not why. Left.

Erin, 22. “Soft spots for pups in sweaters and appropriate comma use” IF ONLY YOU DIDN’T FORGET THE PERIOD. But RIGHT! RIGHT! RIGHT!